Posts Tagged ‘ces 2013’

Rockchip Shows Off RK3188 Quad Cortex A9 Processor and Miracast Dongles

January 10th, 2013 No comments

There has been some leaks about Rockchip RK3188 processor, and Cube Pea tablet based on this SoC, but no device are available for purchase to date. Rockchip is currently at CES 2013 showcasing their solutions, and they are showcasing RK3188 tablet development platform at the show, but no RK3188 tablet as final products should only start to be available in March.


Rockchip RK3188 Tablet Development Platform

Charbax is at CES 2013 now, and could ask a few questions about Rockchip upcoming SoC. RK3188 is a quad core Cortex A9 processor clocked up to 1.8-2.0 GHz, manufactured using 28nm HKMG process technology. The SoC features a quad-core Mali-400MP GPU,  1080p video decoder & encoder, and they can easily provide 4G/LTE support. RK3188 should be 20 to 30% faster than Nvidia Tegra 3, and have the same performance as Samsung Exynos 4412. Rockchip representative also stress that performance/cost ratio will be better than (Chinese) competitor basing their products on 4x Cortex A7.

In the middle of the video, they show some Rockchip tablet and smartphone, but there’s not much to learn except Rockchip have sold 20 millions chips in 2012, and expects to sell 40 million chips this year. Finally, they show off some “Miracast HDMI dongle” that seem to be Rockchip RK3066 mini PCs supporting Miracast, so if you have an RK3066 mini PC, and an Android 4.2 smartphone, you could be able to display your phone screen on your TV via Wi-Fi (Miracast technology) very soon. They demoed their solution with Google/Asus Nexus 4 smartphone and RK3066 mini PCs, but there seems to be almost 1 second lag, which could prove to be an issue with games.

QNX CAR 2.0 Demo and Texas Instruments OMAP5 Jacinto 6 Processor

January 10th, 2013 No comments

There’s a Bentley GT concept car at CES 2012 to demonstrate QNX CAR 2.0 platform that provides dual screen support with the dashboard and an infotainment display for the automotive industry. Under the hood, the platform features TI DLP technology, and TI OMAP5 and Jacinto processors running QNX Neutrino RTOS.

Bentley GT Concept Car Featuring QNX CAR 2.0 dashboard and user display

Bentley GT Concept Car Featuring QNX CAR 2.0 dashboard and user display

Texas Instruments and QNX uploaded a video demo of the concept on YouTube. They explain that they switched their platform from HTML5 to native OpenGL for optimal performance using Storyboard Suite from Crank software, and they can now show 3D maps smoothly on the platform. The 1080p user display is curved to be more user friendly (better touch angles). You must have certainly heard about touchscreens before, but maybe never heard about “pretouch”. Pretouch is a feature of the system that detect when you hand comes close to a control virtual and pops up a virtual menu. The dashboard shows virtual instrument clusters, that shows the tachometers, and other car system information, as well as directions if you are using GPS navigation.

The system comes with standard features such as media player, climate control, etc.. as well as a full duplex video conferencing system with 7kHz audio. In the last part of the demo, they showed that you can get information and control your car with your smartphone, and open/close windows, open the doors, and even horn, although they did not dare to demonstrate the latter at CES 2013.

OMAP5 Jacinto 6 processor (DRA74x) is the latest automotive SoC by Texas Instruments. Jacinto 6 is based on the OMAP5 platform, and features 2 ARM Cortex-A15 cores, multiple Imagination Technologies POWERVR SGX544-MPx graphics cores, and adds TI C66x DSP for software defined radio and advanced audio processing. High-definition surround view cameras, multiple concurrent HD displays, USB 3.0, PCIe2, and SATA are all supported by this SoC, and it also adds automotive peripherals such as CAN, MOST Media Local Bus (MLB), Ethernet AVB, PCI Express and dual external memory interfaces.
TI Jacinto 6 Block Diagram
QNX, Linux, and Android are supported on the platform. The DRA74x “Jacinto 6” processor will sample in mid-2013 and is expected to be available for production by the H2 2014. You’ll need to be an “high-volume automotive manufacturer” to buy it though.

You can get more information by reading QNX CAR 2.0 product brief and TI Jacinto 6 technical brief.

Archos TV Connect STB Hands-On Video

January 10th, 2013 No comments

A few days ago, Archos unveiled the TV Connect, an Android Jelly Bean set-top box powered by TI OMAP4470 that can be placed on top of the TV, and controlled by a Bluetooth game controller/keyboard. Archos is now at CES 2013, and Brad Linder of Liliputing has had a closer look at the device.

In the first part of the video, they give an overview of the device and the controller, and have some problems with the Bluetooth connection probably because of the spectrum might be saturated at the conference. Brad mentions the controller may be a bit awkward to use, but the Archos guy explains you could also use your TV remote control since it is HDMI CEC compatible, or alternatively your Android smartphone/tablet connected with Bluetooth (or Wi-Fi).

At some point, they discuss about all the Chinese mini PCs that have similar functionalities, and the advantages Archos TV Connect has over those:

  • The device can be placed on top of the TV and features a camera that can be used with
  • Bluetooth (Although many mini PCs already have this feature)
  • The TV Connect is the very first Android TV box that is certified by Google (CTS).

Finally, they launch Google maps and demo pinch and zoom, rotate and tilt with the Bluetooth controller, which is something I doubt you can do with most mini PCs, even if you use a Fly Mouse.

Samsung Exynos Octa big.LITTLE 8 Cores SoC Announced at CES 2013

January 10th, 2013 2 comments

Samsung Exynos 5850Samsung Electronics unveiled the very first big.LITTLE Cortex A7/A15 SoC at CES 2013. Exynos Octa will feature 4 Cortex A15 cores together with 4 Cortex A7 cores, and make use of big.LITTLE processing to optimize energy using In-Kernel Switching (IKS), where the kernel uses Cortex A15 or Cortex A7 cores depending on the load, or Heterogeneous MultiProcessing (HMP), where different tasks are assigned to different cores, and both Cortex A15 and A7 can be used simultaneously. Check my earlier post “Big.LITTLE Processing Implementations and Current Status” for an overview on how this all works.

The new Intel processors for smartphones/tablets are now very close to ARM when it comes to power consumption, and ARM may regain a clear lead thanks to big.LITTLE processing technology, which is currently shown to consume about 40% less power than equivalent tasks run on Cortex A15 (only) processors. Samsung claims it may offers up to 70 percent higher energy efficiency compared to the previous quad-core (Cortex A9) Exynos.

Glenn Roland, vice president and head of new platforms and OEM, EA, demonstrates the processing power of the Exynos 5 Octa by running “Need for Speed Most Wanted” on a reference platform.

Exynos 5 Octa is targeted at high-end smartphones and tablets, but the company did not provide any availability for this SoC. We do not know which GPU is used either, but I suspect it could be Mali-T658, the fastest ARM GPU available in 2013.

Lego Mindstorms EV3 Hackable Robots Run Linux

January 9th, 2013 4 comments

The LEGO Group has announced LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, a new platform for consumer robotics designed for both younger generation and robotics enthusiasts, at CES 2013. MINDSTORMS system is powered by the new EV3 Intelligent Brick, that comes with more memory (64 MB + 16 MB internal flash memory) and a faster processor (ARM9 @ 300MHz), and runs a Linux-based firmware.

Lego Mindstorms EV3


EV3 Intelligent Brick also features an infrared port, a 178×128 LCD interface, a USB host port and SD expansion slot, and is now compatible with iOS and Android for remote control via Bluetooth 2.1. Thanks to 6 buttons present on the EV3, users can now program many functions directly, in addition to the ability to download programs from a desktop computer. Lego claims a simple robot can be built in 20 minutes without having to plug it into a PC. Beside EV3 intelligent brick, the set comes with 550 Lego Technic elements, infrared, color and touch sensors, 3 motors, and a remote control.

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 will initially include building instructions for 17 different robots such as “Everstorm” a Mohawk-sporting humanoid that shoots mini-spheres as it walks (Pictured above), “Spiker” a scorpion-like robot that searches for an IR beacon “bug” or “Reptar”, a robotic snake that slithers, shakes and strikes. Builders can then add LEGO Technic pieces, motors or sensors to change the functionality of the robot.

Watch the promo video below to see what can be done with Lego Mindstorms EV3.

MINDSTORMS EV3 also provides a new 3D instructions apps (iOS only for now) powered by Autodesk Inventor Publisher that allows builders to zoom in and rotate each step in the building process. The new desktop programming interface is backward compatible to earlier NXT bricks, offering object-oriented programming tools and extensions to major robotics languages, and should be available for Windows and Mac.

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 will be available for $349.99 US, €349.99 and $399.99 (CAD) in the second half of 2013. You can check out the Brochure for more details.

An education version “The LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 platform” will also be released later this year for educators interested in teaching robotics in middle and high school classrooms. More information on LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 can be found at


Qualcomm CES 2013 Keynote Was (Mostly) a Waste of Time

January 9th, 2013 No comments

Qualcomm Big Bird CES 2013Don’t get me wrong Qualcomm makes awesome processors, but as a blogger I already had a fairly negative opinion of Qualcomm when it comes to press releases about their new processors since they usually do not release any details. Yet I was naively thinking I could learn about Qualcomm upcoming products at their keynote, and I was (mostly) completely wrong. If you haven’t watched it yet and want to enjoy a 1h30 show, go watch the on-demand video, where you’ll see current Windows RT products based on Qualcomm, upcoming movies (Pacific Rim and Star Trek), Big Bird, Nascar and Maroon 5. However, if you want to learn about Qualcomm and be fed with geeky stuffs, don’t waste your time.

I’ve still been able to extra a little bit of useful information, and got some more info from other sites, and amazingly Qualcomm’s own press releases.

Unless you’re high after smoking pot, have acute ethylic intoxication, or have been chewing a considerable amount of khat, I’d strongly recommend you skip the first 7 minutes of the video. Then there’s a lot of blablah until Steve ballmer shows up on stage at 15:50 and talks up Windows RT tablet and Windows Phone smartphone based on Qualcomm. It really “starts” at around 23:40, where Qualcomm CEO announced Snapdragon 600 & 800 series. The 800 series comes with 4G LTE advanced (150 Mbps), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, support Ultra HD resolution and video decoding/encoding, and features 4 cores clocked up to 2.3 GHz. It should be available in products (smartphones/tablets) by the second half of 2013.

Here are the key features of Qualcomm 800 series according to the press release:

  • The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors will deliver up to 75 percent better performance than the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and the move to 28nm High Performance for mobile (HPm) technology node ensures exceptionally low power
  • New Krait 400 CPU in quad configuration, with speeds of up to 2.3 GHz per core offers best-in-class performance per watt, so processor performance can hold up to the more demanding processing and communication requirements of premium mobile devices
  • Additionally, asynchronous SMP architecture provides dynamic power sensing and control for peak performance per core, while extending battery life without the use of specialized cores
  • New Adreno 330 GPU delivers more than 2x performance for compute applications over the current Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2x32bit LP-DDR3 at 800MHz with industry-leading memory bandwidth of 12.8GBps
  • New Hexagon DSP V5 delivers floating point support, dynamic multithreading and expanded multimedia instructions for enhanced low power performance
  • New IZat location technology combines multiple tracking systems into a single high performance, highly accurate navigation platform for auto and pedestrian applications
  • Seamless communications anytime, anywhere: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors offer fully integrated connectivity and a wide variety of communication options.
  • Third generation 4G LTE modem with data rates up to 150 Mbps (Category 4), fully integrated in the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors
  • 4G LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation feature to maximize radio frequency bandwidth
  • World multimode and multi-band support using wafer level package (WTR1605)
  • Integrated newest generation mobile Wi-Fi connectivity, 802.11ac
  • Broad connectivity support with integrated USB 3.0, Bluetooth and FM

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors also introduce the very latest mobile experiences.

  • Capture, playback and display in UltraHD video (with four times 1080p pixel density)
  • Dual Image Signal Processors (ISP) for Qualcomm Snapdragon Camera with support for computational camera
  • HD multichannel audio with DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Plus for enhanced audio
  • Higher display resolutions (up to 2560×2048) and Miracast 1080p HD support

The promo video is pretty nice too.

Qualcomm CEO showed some cool demo showcasing 3D performance of the new Snapdragon 800 series processor and UHD video playback with 7.1 surround sound. You may learn a bit more about the new processors via Anandtech.

Then we learn about the internet of (every)thing (IoE) that should increase mobile traffic by 1000 times, and Qualcomm solutions are small cells that fit on your bookshelf and capable of Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. You can read a little more about Qualcomm IoE platform in the press release. StreamBoost technology allows your router to prioritize traffic on your LAN (QoS) to deliver the best experience, and 802.11ac from Alienware and D-Link will showcase the technology at CES 2013.

There’s also a part about cars with web radio, video conferencing and online gaming via LTE in Audi and BMW cars, as well as a demo with Nascar app (developed with AllJoyn) with a Snapdragon enabled TV controlled by a tablet.

The rest of the keynote shows more apps using Qualcomm Vuforia Augmented Reality SDK, currently used by over 40,000 developers, with a demo involving Sesame Street Big Bird, and also some talks (but no demo) about a Health care tricorder and a star trek app based on the upcoming movie.

Finally, an electric Rolls Royce car shows up on stage with a 73 kWh battery capable of charging 12,000 smartphones and that cam be charged with Qualcomm Halo technology, before Maroon 5 starts to sing a few songs. If you watched the recording you’re lucky to hear them, as those who watched the live stream could not listen (no rights), and Qualcomm really pissed off a few other people as well…

Intel Unveils Atom Z2420 Processor for Entry Level Android Smartphones

January 8th, 2013 No comments

Today was Intel & Qualcomm turns to have their keynotes. One of Intel announcements is the Atom Z2420 1.2 GHz processor (codenamed Lexington) that comes with PowerVR SGX540 GPU, 1080p video decoder & encoder, and features hyper-threading technology. This processor manufactured with 32nm process technology targets low cost smartphones for emerging markets.

Intel Atom Z2420 Block Diagram

Intel Atom Z2420 Block Diagram

Here are the key specifications of Intel Atom Z2420:

Intel Z2420 Smartphone Reference Design

Intel Z2420 Smartphone Reference Design

  • Process technology – 32nm HKMG
  • Co-Pop Package – 12x12mm, 617 balls, 0.4mm pitch, LPDDR2 PoP package
  • Intel Atom Architecture – 512KN Intel Smart Cache, Enhanced Deeper Sleep, C6/Low Power Audio State, Smart Idle Technology and Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS)
  • 3D Graphics Engine – PowerVR Sgx540 with 2000 MPPS peak fil rate, 40 MTSm with support for Open VG 1.1, OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0
  • Hardware Accelerated Video – 1080p30 video encode and decode
  • Display Controller – Supports up to 4 DSI lanes at 800 Mbps per lane
  • Memory Interface – Dual channel 32-bit LPDDR2 interface up to 1GB, 800 MT/s data rate.
  • Image Signal Processor – 320 Mhz support up to 8MP primary camera and 1.3MP secondary camera.
  • 6x I2C Controllers
  • SPI Controllers – 2 master and 1 master/slave ports
  • Keypad Controller – Up o 4 direct key inputs
  • Intel Smart Sound Technology – Low-power programmable codec to decode/encode popular audio formats
  • Flexible GPIO Configuration – Up to 89 GPIO

As was the case with Atom Z2460 processor last year, Intel also designed a reference smartphone for Z2420 in order to speed up time to market. The key features of this reference design include a 3.5″ display (480×320), full 1080p30 video encode and decode, XMM6265 HSPA+ modem (Up to 21Mbps), dual SIM card support, FM radio, microSD slot and Wireless Display (WiDi) support. They already have 3 partners (Acer, SafariCom and Lava) who will release a phone in Q1 2013.

Read Intel Atom Z2420 product brief to get more information.

Later this year, Clover Trail+ should be available for performance smartphones, and 22nm processors will come soon after for both performance and value smartphones.

In the rest of the mobile part of the keynote, they talked a little bit about Z2760 atom processor currently used in Windows RT tablet, and gave some info about “Bay Trail” a 22nm quad core processor for tablet, that should be available in Tablet for Q4 2013.

The other half of the presentation switched to Core processors, and later this year we should be able to get convertible ultrabooks with low power Core processors (Haswell 7W TDP) providing similar performance to current i3 to i7 processors. They showed some prototypes which can last 13 hours on a charge (Batteries in keyboard and screen), or about 10 hours when the screen is detached. The tablets are just about 1cm thick like ARM based tablets we are accustomed to.

You can watch the 48 minutes Intel CES 2012 keynote here.

Asus Qube Google TV 3.0 STB Hands-On Video

January 8th, 2013 No comments

Asus announced the Qube at CES 2013 with a rather laconic press release:

Qube with Google TV – Bring the world of entertainment to your TV

Instantly add Google TV to your HDTV with the ASUS Qube. Qube with Google TV offers both motion control and voice search that integrates Google Play, Chrome™, YouTube™in one compact device. With access to over 100,000 movies and TV shows* from Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, plus numerous apps, videos and games from Google Play, ASUS Qubewith Google TV is the perfect media content device.

ASUS has developed the unique Qube interface, which displays functions via a rotating on-screen cube shape. The advanced remote control supports motion sensing for gaming and other applications. Customers can also control Qube with Google TV from their Android smartphones and tablets using the Mobile Remote app, available through Google Play. ASUS includes 50GB of WebStorage cloud space with every Qube with Google TV.

Asus Qube

Anandtech reports that the device is based on Marvell Armada 1500 Google TV platform. They also spent some time on the device on Asus booth, and noticed the transition animations weren’t really smooth on this demo system.

The remote is dual sided with a a full QWERTY keyboard on one side, and a simpler remote on the other including a navigation button and a Netflix button.. The remote also comes with a built-in mic for voice control, and an integrated gyro.

The board features two HDMI ports, an ethernet port, WiFi, and a USB port as well. The Qube will ship with an IR blaster for $129 at the end of Q3, according to CNET.